Elections are better than the election when Russia will return to the polls

on April 22 in Russia had to undergo a vote on the amendments to the Constitution – as was envisaged in the original version of the Decree of the President. On this day the Expert of the Institute of social studies held a round table on the theme: “the Future of democracy. Pandemic COVID and suffrage”. The participants discussed the videoconference prospects for the country’s return to electoral procedures.

Another reason for the roundtable was that a week ago, April 15, in South Korea, a country that was one of the first hit by the pandemic, parliamentary elections were held. As soon as this example may be followed by Russia? What will happen with a Single election day? When citizens can Express their position on constitutional amendments? AISI invited experts expressed their vision of the situation.

According to, for example, the Director of the Moscow Bureau for human rights, member of the HRC Alexander Brod, about September a Single day of voting are grounds for concern. “Somewhere in the summer, the epidemic will go on recession” – encouraged by a human rights activist, referring to the predictions of epidemiologists.

Moreover, the political struggle, Ford predicts, will be far from a joke: “We see that in some regions and problematic environment. Naturally, it will use the local candidates of political parties. Therefore, the elections will be competitive.”

the Date of the vote on the Constitution a human rights activist, however, predict not taken: “we accept this decision.” But pay attention to the results of recent opinion poll, indicating that “citizens are still very high attention to the essence of amendments” and that “quite a high percentage willing to vote for them”.

For reference, 66 percent of respondents to VTSIOM, Russians expressed readiness to take part in the vote. With 50 percent of respondents intend to vote for the amendment, 26 against.

More specific in terms of timing, research Director of the expert group “PiteR” Alexander Seravin: “I believe that the vote should be carried out in early July. At the same time to optimize the technology of the Internet voting – then you have them ready in September and in 2021”.

To launch online voting across the country is technologically ready, assured Seravin. It requires only political will and a corresponding adjustment of the legislation.

According to the expert, “we enter into the new virtualized reality of political processes”. “The population, limited in connection with the epidemic in the possibility of live communication, actively developing new electronic forms of civil society organizations. And the government should keep pace with the times believes”, – Seravin.

the President of the Center for political those��ology Boris Makarenko also considers that with the opening of the polling stations not to get complacent: “If we in June will begin to gradually exit restrictions, if there are conditions, the election is definitely better than no elections. For several reasons. First, it breeds optimism. Part in something massive, socially people will lift your spirits. It not only mobilizes the turnout, this is a very powerful signal that life is returning to normal. This will have a very good effect.”

However, the possibility of voting on the amendments during the summer months, the expert is very skeptical: “What do you do, the turnout will be lower in the summer”. Even if the epidemiological situation will not interfere with the voting in this period, the scientist suggested not to hurry up – to wait at least until fall.

be Very careful Makarenko and the prospects of e-voting: “There are many reasons why a distant form of voting we have at least developed. First – our society is more doubt about the fairness of the procedure. Hence the desire to see with my own eyes. To deploy electronic voting in the short term will be very difficult. Yes, this procedure future. But it is necessary to sharpen and to enter gradually”.